South Africa withdraw bid to host 2027 Women's World Cup

South Africa withdraw bid to host 2027 Women's World Cup
Grace Fisher
Grace Fisher

South Africa have withdrawn their bid to host the 2027 Fifa Women's World Cup, the South African Football Association announced Friday (Nov. 24).

Still under consideration are a bid from Brazil and two joint bids: from Mexico and the United States, and secondly from Germany and the Netherlands.

In a statement SAFA explained the choice to focus on a bid for the 2031 edition of the tournament.

"The time frame for developing the 2027 Fifa Women's World Cup bid has been challenging. This does not diminish our commitment to women's football, and has instead strengthened our commitment to produce a strong South African women's team for 2031, and a compelling bid for the same tournament."

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"We were very pleased by the support and advice from the Minister and Deputy Minister of Sport, when they encouraged us to work toward preparing a future bid, and in this regard, we felt it was better to regroup and present a well-prepared bid for the 2031 Fifa Women's World Cup."

"The focus is now on making sure that African champions Banyana Banyana have a competitive team for the 2027 Fifa Women's World Cup."

A record of nearly 2 million fans attended the 2024 Women's World Cup, which was won by Spain and jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

The hosts of the 2027 tournament will be announced at a Fifa Congress in Bangkok, Thailand, on May 17, 2024.

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South Africa would've been the first African nation to hold the Women's World Cup, and had received support from the Confederation for African Football.

In the same statement quoted above, SAFA Head of Women's Football Romaney Pinnock said, "I am, of course, sad that we are bowing out of the exciting bidding process at this stage, but I feel that this is an opportunity to fully prepare ourselves for a robust 2031 bid. SAFA's Department of Women's Football has a large task underway as we implement our new strategy."

"This work focuses on growing the game locally for girls, developing a professional women's league and creating an effective pathway for girls to become world class football players."

"Through this work we have the chance not only to prove our worth as a host country, but also ensure future generations are ready to perform on the global stage, and hopefully hold the 2031 Fifa Women's World Cup trophy here on home ground. Hosting a tournament of this magnitude is not only about being ready as a nation, but also about nurturing the talent that can represent us on the field and make us proud of our crest, flag, and country."

This summer was South Africa's second appearance in the Women's World Cup, and Banyana Banyana advanced to the round of 16 for the first time in their history after defeating Italy 3-2 in the final group match.

The SA WNT are also champions of the continent, and the Mamelodi Sundowns have won the CAF Women's Champions League twice in the last three years.

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